Cox given $70M Las Vegas Convention Center telecom contract by court

Cox Communications, for now, is the telecommunications provider for the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center, a Clark County, Nev., judge has ruled.

Cox had been awarded the contract Aug. 13, successfully removing telecom network provider Smart City, which had held the contract--estimated to be worth $70 million over a seven-year contract term--since 1998.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) voted 13-1 to award the contract to Cox after the local subsidiary of the cable company promised to invest $9.5 million in upgraded technology to improve the system's speed and capacity. Smart City only offered $2 million worth of work.

The process of awarding the contract, while "certainly not the best," did not qualify as a competitive bid, said Clark County District Judge Susan Scann, in dismissing Smart City's appeal. Additionally, the judge faulted Smart City for waiting until Sept. 25 to file its lawsuit because by then most of its equipment had been removed as Cox moved in. That, she said, "resulted in an inexcusable delay."

The ruling vindicated the LVCVA which maintained that Cox had squarely beaten Smart City in head-to-head comparisons including customer service, experience and management.

Smart City were "incumbents that got lazy; they rested on their laurels and were outdone by competitors," LVCVA attorney Todd Bice said in a story in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

The book may not be closed on the matter, however. Smart City attorney William Maupin said the telco provider is "considering our options" based on the fact that "this has been a highly successful collaboration for the past 15 years."

For more:
- the Las Vegas Review Journal carried this story

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